Content Marketing: what it is and why you need it

Content marketing is something all business needs, whether they’re a large corporation or a solo run small business working from home. But WHY do you need to use content marketing and what IS it exactly?

What is content marketing?

In a nutshell, content marketing is the creation and sharing of media and/or published content, in order to attract and gain new clients. To put it another way, it’s anything you’ve created, that you put out there consistently AND your clients see as valuable and/or relevant to them.

Content marketing is often far superior, in terms conversion rates, than general paid advertising – with an average conversion rate of 30% more than that of paid advertising. It also fulfils your potential client’s desires, by giving them access to what they want or need.

Social media symbols

Content marketing can therefore consist of:

  • Blog posts
  • White papers and reports
  • Cheat sheets
  • Newsletters
  • Blogs
  • Social media postings
  • Videos
  • Ebooks and books
  • Podcasts and audio clips
  • Photographs and infographics

Why you need content marketing

Any content marketing, if done consistently, can help improve the SEO rankings on your website. If you do content marketing well, it will also increase the potential reach of your business, as your potential clients will share your posts and information with their contacts – exactly what often happens on social media platforms.

Getting your name and brand in front of potential clients is exactly what you need, in order to grow your business – and content marketing is no different. It helps you become known as an expert in your niche, whilst also sharing your expertise with a wider audience.

How to get started with content marketing

When it comes to getting the ball rolling with content marketing, your key focus needs to be on giving your potential clients what they need – so focus on value first, promotion second. You can then use these five tips to get started with your first focused content marketing strategy:

content marketing for growthTip #1: What is your desired end result?

What do you want to have happen, as a result of sharing content with your potential audience? Do you want extra sign ups? Do you want more fans on your social media sites? What are your needs?

Tip #2: What are the needs of your audience?

What problem and/or pain do your potential clients have? What do they like? What do they want more of? What are the searching for? What do they want to change?

Tip #3: What can you offer and create, in order to meet both your needs and those of your audience?

What type of content can you create? What is the preferred media style of your audience? What would be the most helpful to them? Remember to keep your focus on both your target audience and their perceived value.

Tip #4: Plan ahead

Take out a calendar and plan your content out for the next 3-4 months, if possible. This will give you ample time to get clear on what you need to create and how you can maximise usage. What social media posts will you make? What podcasts and videos can you record? What blog posts will you write?

Tip #5: Measure your results

Finally, make sure you’re monitoring the effectiveness of each piece of content and the platforms you are using. You want to know if the type of media being used is correct, if you’re using the best delivery method (i.e. website, social media, email etc.) and if the content itself is what your target audience want to see.

How far in advance do you plan your content marketing? What tips and advice would you share with those who are just getting started with content marketing? Why not share your experiences and advice with everyone, by leaving a comment in the box below!

Image © tashatuvango (fetured), SSilver & bahrialtay/Dollar Photo Club

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